“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rollback 2

Moderators Note: TOCB has advocated the unity of this community and looks to return to one Proistameno and one Philoptochos which should have occurred upon the receipt of the Metropolitan's letter announcing there would be no split. We roll back the clock to the November 2007 General Assembly where the much heralded survey results were announced. The survey responses posted are done so as they were received. TOCB has not edited or altered the survey responses.

Responses to HT/PE Survey: Comments (Attending PE)/1 of 9

I currently attend Prophet Elias, but if the churches separate, my self along with my stewardship money will go to Holy Trinity. This community has worked as on for so long & there is no good reason to change that now. Creating two parishes so close in location to each other would put them in competition with each other to fight for members & money, creating further separation of its member, while a church is supposed to be a united family. Separating would be like parents divorcing after 40 years of marriage, then forcing their children to choose which parent they want to support. (27)

We've gone back and forth in our thinking, but ultimately think one community is best. We do feel however that more money should be spent to rejuvenate P.E. It seems at times more $ has been spent at HT where more parishioners seem to attend P.E. (244)

I don't see how a split could support a unified youth program & dance group. Even though it hasn't been formally put in writing, it is well known the intent is for P.E. to become the American Orthodox Church. Why would this church want to support a Greek School Program or Greek Dancing when they don't want any Greek spoken during Sunday Church service? I'm sure everyone of our ancestors are turning over in their graves when they see this awful battle that's brewing in our community. Why would PE want to support St. Sophia when they have an emphasis in Greek studies. Again, everyone knows the big "push" is to do away with Greek in Sunday services. Isn't it a shame people pushing for the split don't feel the importance that their children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren understand all that our parents, grandparents & great-grandparents went through to build this wonderful united community in the "land of Zion", What will happen if the community splits. Even though the Position Paper for the split says we will remain member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of N.A. we know this is not the truth. How can it be with no Greek spoken in the church! P.E. is not a child of Holy Trinity, it is an extension or a finger or toe that's part of a limb. To cut that limb off for no good reason is sheer stupidity and selfishness. The toughest item to stomach in this Position Paper is the problem with priests attending to their flock. Why is it not possible for a single Proistamenos [sp] to minister to 1000 families. Other priests have been able to do this with little problem. Our Proistamenos [sp] needs to utilize the resources available to him. Instead he's egotistical and spends his time placing himself in the limelight and finding ways he can better himself, rather than listening to the concerns of the community. I've talked to our Proistamenos [sp] on many occasions [sp] about my concerns, but everything's beyond his control. How can we have a Proistarnenos [sp] that can work for the good of our community when everything's beyond his control. Time for him to leave & find a new Proistamenos [sp] that will work for the people of SLC rather than against them; especially the majority! ( 1191)

The proposed division is a large mistake. A functioning group that has succeeded as one will never be as strong and united in two different entities. Together is strength, resources, friendship & love. A community divided will fall. Just like the Holy Trinity it is 3 in 1. Keep our community united. Draw as one from the strength, wisdom & guidance of all. There are many more ways to involve our members in the organization & needs of the church other than splitting into two separate entities. Reach out a a united community for all to participate instead of being divisive. We need to pull together not apart. (424)

Responses to HT/ PESurvey: Comments (Attending PE)/2 of 9

I believe the unity of the Greater Salt Lake Greek Community is very important. Splitting the churches will further fracture the community rather than encourage mutual goals and relationships. (571)

With all the respect to every one and especially to the fathers of the Great Greek Orthodox Church I would like to take this opportunity to say this: we should take the opinion of the parishioners as a vote. Why not? Why we don't like to see what the majority [sp] of our parishioners want? Whatever the outcome will be we should say no more. Respect the results. After all isn't the same people who support both churches? With this action we are taking now (we should have done-long ago) Isn't like we undervalue the intelligence of the people? Since we have start[ed] the process of the separation and the split of the community, what is the value of people's opinion? Don't you see united all these y rs what we have accomplish[ed]? Stay united means: STRONG POWER SUCCESS PROSPERITY. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA doesn't tell us something? Let's have the people decide [sp] what they want. People build communities, people build churches. Let them have the last word. Majority! [sp] wins, sample as that. (1197)

I still have not read or heard of one good reason why the churches should be separated. Just go next door to Denver and see how great everything overthere is from when they performed their own separation. It's going to split people up (especially the youth) and it will take a long time before operations will go smoothly cause we don't have a good example of anyone who has done thi successfully yet. (975)

We are family and need each other. Do not separate us -still as the old saying goes -if it ain't broke , don't fix it! Can't we grow in a Christian way with love? (am 84 year old) (1048)

I was disappointed that the statements enclosed with this survey did not address the same issues with respect to both churches. (1069)

In the arguments in favor of separation, it states that "Our community has now reached another crossroads and again requires adjustment to address the changing needs of its members ." Maybe that is the case. But, if so, then I propose that those who feel that way go forward and build a third church and it can be operated independently of the current Greek Orthodox Community of Greater Salt Lake. (1163)

I have voted, but I truly believe the decision is not ours to make. Whether we vote or argue all the possibilities as one family, God still gets to make the decision. I am personally tired of all the divisive feelings this issue has caused. It saddens me. (1150)

I think it will not be possible to failrly divide the holdings of the church if the two become separate entities. I have no problem with the current structure (ie. 2 Proistamenos) and keeping our community whole as a minority in this city with a very strong dominant [sp] LDS culture. There is strength in our community with 2 different places of worship that support each other. (995)

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